I finally went to see “Jurassic World” this weekend. When the mosasaur appeared on screen, I thought, hey, I mentioned that giant sea lizard in Not by Fire but by Ice.
Here’s a video that describes the mosasaur. Turns out that in real life the mosasaur was “only” 60 feet long.
That’s still longer than a semi-trailer truck!
Anyway, I grabbed Not by Fire but by Ice and looked up what I had written about mosasaurs. Here’s an excerpt:
“The enormous sea level drop at the end-Cretaceous, along with the change in weather (it turned deadly cold), provide the key, not only to the dinosaurs’ demise, but to every major extinction in history.
“It’s one of those “Oh, by the way” things. “Oh, by the way, end-Cretaceous seas stood 1,100 to 1,800 feet higher than today. Whoa! That’s a third of a mile! Wouldn’t that mean that almost half of the United States and Canada was under water?
“That’s exactly what it means.
“End-Cretaceous seas stretched north from the Gulf of Mexico to the Arctic Circle and east from the Rockies to the Appalachians. Where midwestern farmers now plant their fields of wheat and drive to their churches on Sundays, huge mosasaurs (giant sea lizards) once cavorted in waters some 300 feet above their heads, swimming in lazy circles where steeples now pierce the sky.
“Real sharks plied the seas where modern-day lawyers sit and scheme in their high-rise conference rooms. Eyeball-to-eyeball with their ancient brethren, their coveted offices on the 30th floor would have been underwater. Even at 35-stories tall, today’s soaring buildings would have looked short and squat, barely poking up through the water like those ubiquitous oil platforms you see dotting the Gulf of Mexico.
“Then poof! The water drained away almost overnight, catching those mosasaurs and sharks without warning.”
5 science facts ‘Jurassic World’ totally ignored
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